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For more than two decades, Joe Buck has been an NFL staple. The legendary broadcaster has lent his voice to Fox’s football coverage dating back to the early ’90s. Along the way, Buck has called numerous NFL playoff games, including some epic Super Bowl showdowns. And on Thursday, the 51-year-old received the best surprise of his broadcasting career that cements his place in NFL history courtesy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Joe Buck’s legendary broadcasting career

As the son of legendary sportscaster Jack Buck, Joe Buck already had a leg up on the competition. Still, the Florida native faced a challenge in stepping out of his famous father’s shadow in order to establish his own career. So how did he get started in broadcasting?

Buck’s foray into the sports media world began well before his days at Fox. He began covering minor league baseball before landing the opportunity he needed in 1994. At just 25 years old, Buck became the youngest man to regularly announce NFL games on network TV.

Ultimately, that set the stage for a lucrative career. Since breaking in with Fox decades ago, Buck has become one of the most recognizable faces (and voices) in sports. In particular, NFL fans have witnessed his play-by-play skills during the six Super Bowls he has called for Fox, including the recent clash between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers.

Buck received the best surprise of his career on Thursday Night Football

Joe Buck has spent years honing his craft and making NFL games exciting for fans across the world. Though he does draw criticism, there’s no doubt he’s left an indelible impact on the NFL and the sports media world.

After entertaining audiences on Twitter the last few months, Buck returned to the broadcast booth for another season of NFL action. On Thursday, he and Troy Aikman called the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns. What seemed like an ordinary night at work turned into the best surprise of Buck’s career.

During the live broadcast, Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker surprised Buck and Fox’s national audience with an announcement via a recorded segment. Baker revealed that Buck will receive the Pete Rozelle Award for his “longtime exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football.”

In doing so, he joins his father, Jack, as the only father-son duo to both receive the prestigious award. Now, Joe Buck will be part of the Centennial Class of 2020 that will be inducted in Canton in August 2021.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Centennial Class of 2020 is full of star power

After adding Joe Buck to the list, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Centennial Class of 2020 looks absolutely stacked. The group includes a number of former star players, as well as a few coaches and key contributors to NFL history.

Pittsburgh Steelers icon Troy Polamalu headlines an impressive five-man group of former players who will be permanently enshrined in Canton. Edgerrin James earned the nod after racking up more than 12,000 rushing yards and 91 total touchdowns for the Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals, and Seattle Seahawks.

Speaking of the Seahawks, longtime guard Steve Hutchinson will also get inducted in August. He earned a spot on the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team after racking up seven Pro Bowl berths and five first-team All-Pro selections between 2003-2009. In addition to Hutchinson, Steve Atwater and Issac Bruce will also have their time to shine in Canton next year.

Former head coaches Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson, along with contributors Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue, and George Young will all get immortalized on Aug. 8.

And thanks to a surprise visit from David Baker on Thursday Night Football, Joe Buck will, too.

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